Photo: The Straits Times/Shaw

In the upcoming Taiwanese tearjerker Packages From Daddy, Singapore actress Fann Wong plays a grieving wife reeling over the sudden loss of her husband.

After watching the movie in Taipei earlier this month, she was so overwhelmed with emotion that she turned to her husband, actor Christopher Lee, and said: “Please live to 100 years old.” The couple have been married for seven years.

Fann, 45, recounting the incident to local media on Wednesday, says: “I understand that death is unavoidable, but the thought of losing a loved one is heartwrenching. I would cry my eyes out daily if he really goes before me.

“The movie provided me with food for thought. I’ve become more aware of my actions. I’ll question myself: Did I treasure my loved one today? Did I neglect a seemingly unimportant matter, which means a lot to someone else?”

She says that just reading the script earlier had moved her to tears, with the waterworks starting barely a few pages into the sombre story penned by the film’s director Tsai Yin-chuan. “I could feel for my character. Perhaps it is also because I am a mother myself,” says Fann, who has a two-year-old son, Zed.

“I understand the guilt. My character blames herself for her husband’s death. She has to steel herself to support the family. At the same time, she is misunderstood by her children.”

To play the part of a devastated widow convincingly, Fann went bare-faced in some scenes on the request of the director.

She says: “Of course, women want to look pretty. But I wasn’t too concerned about my looks during filming because what’s most important is to fit the role. The make-up artist tried to apply some make-up on me, but I told him to wipe it off.”

She almost did not take up the role. Although she was drawn to the poignant plot, there was a stronger reason to stay in Singapore – Zed.

But husband Lee, 45, told her to pursue what she loved.

Fann says: “I had just become a mother then and I could not bear to leave my baby. My husband saw the reaction I had when reading the script and encouraged me to take on the movie.”

She spent about a month in Taiwan filming last year, but flew back to Singapore during breaks to visit her son.

Now that the movie is out, her husband is showing his support again. He booked a cinema hall at Shaw Theatres Lido and invited a group of more than 70 family members and friends to the gala premiere on Wednesday night.

Beaming with joy, Fann says: “He is often away filming, so distance makes the heart grow fonder. We treasure whatever time we spend together. After filming this movie, it makes me cherish him even more.”


The original version of this story was published in The Straits Times on December 9, 2016.

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